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alto up and movable cleff: my bad experience
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Author:  jeffrey armbruster [ Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:43 am ]
Post subject:  alto up and movable cleff: my bad experience

I'm taking my first sight reading class with about 6 other people. I've never played in an ensemble and my sight reading is shaky, but I was let in. All was fine until we were assigned reading alto up; i.e. playing the score an octave higher than it appears. My short amount of practice was alright with simple scales but I never mastered the playing fifths exercise. Anyway in class while reading a new score I really had trouble and started making simple, stupid mistakes. I'm amazed at how bothered I am by this and distressed at doing so poorly in front of this group. I'm not used to being the dumb guy in class. that said, everyone there has been playing for 20 years or more and has experience with alto up. I guess I'm venting.

anyone find alto up to be difficult at first?

Next week we cover movable cleff and I think I'll bail; it's the last class and I feel I have many more important things to work on, like learning to read for my soprano and dozen other things.

I can see that learning alto up is great for solidifying my reading and fingering skills and will probably come in helpful in some ensemble situations.

Author:  benhall.1 [ Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: alto up and movable cleff: my bad experience

jeffrey armbruster wrote:
Next week we cover movable cleff and I think I'll bail

If it was me, the situation you describe would make me want to attend the class even more. Firstly, you really do only learn from your mistakes. If you're always in your comfort zone, there is no learning. Secondly, it's amazing how, maybe many months or even years later, something that may have been so beyond me as to seem absolutely baffling at the time, come back to me and help me in what I want to do.

That is exactly the sort of situation, and opportunity, that I, personally, wouldn't miss for the world.

Author:  jeffrey armbruster [ Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: alto up and movable cleff: my bad experience

Well of course you're right, benhall. This whole thing has shown me some things about myself. I'm rarely one to bail on something. the thing is, the rest of the class has been playing recorders in ensembles for decades. I was hoping to show that I have some skill on my lonely alto but I'm thrown into a class the emphasizes all that I can't do well. In fact I keep time very well and if I know or can learn a piece, I could play duets or ensembles. I have very good tone, hit the high notes and have a good sense of phrasing but want to learn more. I was hoping to meet even one person to play with. I feel like such a klutz I doubt this will happen.

In any case I care too much, in a bad way, and that gets in my way. Too much pressure and extraneous ego stuff going on. Now I think I'll just reprise my poor performance and end feeling even worse.

What I'd really like is to find jsut one or two people to play several pieces where I have my part beforehand and can learn it, just to experience playing with others and relax, get some confidence up. Here it's all, 'well, here's a new piece, don't play the notes as written, play alto up or on another clef.' Hard to get my confidence! But of course these are skills that must be learned. I feel I need some preliminary skills.

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